While not recognizing discrimination based upon sexual orientation or gender identity as being protected under the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA), the Missouri Supreme Court has issued two separate opinions that expand protection of LGBTQ individuals under the MHRA.
Articles About Missouri Labor and Employment Law.
Executive Summary: On February 26, 2019, the Missouri Supreme Court extended legal protections against discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in two separate cases—one dealing with employment rights and the other dealing with accessibility rights to public facilities by transgender students.
On Tuesday, Governor Mike Parson appointed State Representative Robert Cornejo to be chairman of the Missouri Labor and Industrial Relations Board. Cornejo, an attorney and Republican state representative from St. Peters, Missouri, will replace outgoing chairman John Larsen.
Missouri voters have rejected right-to-work. Senate Bill 19, which would have made Missouri the nation’s 28th right-to-work state, was passed by the Missouri legislature on February 2, 2017, and signed into law by then-Governor Eric Greitens. Labor organizations and their supporters gathered enough signatures to keep the law from going into effect until voters in Missouri had an opportunity to weigh in.
On February 1, 2018, the Kansas City, Missouri, City Council passed restrictions on employers’ inquiries into, and use of, criminal record information. The ordinance becomes effective on June 9, 2018. The City had already removed the criminal history question from employment applications for government positions in 2014. Similar to the Missouri Human Rights Act, the ordinance applies to private employers with six or more employees.
In Lampley, et al. v. Missouri Commission on Human Rights,1 the Missouri Court of Appeals held that sex stereotyping can form the basis of a sex discrimination claim when the complaining party is gay, but should not be construed as a claim for sexual orientation discrimination.2 The latter cause of action is not a cognizable claim under the Missouri Human Rights Act (“MHRA”). Further, a complaining party’s sexual orientation is irrelevant to the claim of discrimination based upon sex stereotyping.
Missouri was set to become a right-to-work state on August 28, 2017. However, unions have continued efforts to prevent the implementation of Senate Bill 19 (“SB 19”), Missouri’s right-to-work bill. Article III, Section 52 of the Missouri Constitution allows the public to petition for a referendum to put key issues before Missouri voters on the November 2018 ballot. The president of the Missouri AFL-CIO intends to use a referendum petition to halt SB 19.
On May 30, 2017, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens signed legislation generally barring public entities from requiring job-specific union contracts called “project labor agreements” on public construction projects.
On June 30, 2017, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens signed into law Senate Bill 43, which corrects the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA) by bringing it into closer alignment with federal and other states’ anti-discrimination statutes.
With the 2017 legislative session winding down, the Missouri legislature pulled out a big win for employers with several significant changes to the Missouri Workers’ Compensation Law and the Missouri Human Rights Act.
As St. Louis native Yogi Berra famously remarked, “[i]t is not over until it’s over.” Yogi’s aphorism is certainly true with respect to the St. Louis Minimum Wage Ordinance.
The Missouri legislature has passed a bill that makes sweeping amendments to the Missouri Human Rights Act, including adopting the “motivating factor” standard for employment discrimination claims and excluding individuals from liability, among other things.
On May 9,2017, the Missouri Legislature passed a significant amendment to the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA), which would bring the Act into closer alignment with federal and other states’ anti-discrimination statutes. All that remains is for Governor Eric Greitens to sign the bill into law.
In a surprise development, on February 28, 2017, the Missouri Supreme Court upheld a minimum wage hike by the City of St. Louis. Cooperative Home Care, Inc., et al. v. City of St. Louis, Missouri. On August 28, 2015, St. Louis enacted a local ordinance providing for a four-tiered increase in the minimum wage for employees working within the boundaries of St. Louis. Under the ordinance, the hourly minimum wage rate was to increase to $8.25 on October 15, 2015; to $9 on January 1, 2016; to $10 on January 1, 2017; and to $11 on January 1, 2018.
A unanimous Missouri Supreme Court has upheld St. Louis City’s local minimum wage ordinance, reversing a trial court judgment that had enjoined and invalidated the ordinance in 2015. Cooperative Home Care, Inc. v. City of St. Louis, Missouri, No. SC95401 (Mo. Feb. 28, 2017).